Novella K. Lyons (President of WOFAH)

Novella Lyons knows first-hand the effect that breast cancer has on women and their families. Her mother’s diagnosis and subsequent death in 1975 was Novella’s first experience with breast cancer, and that left a vivid impact upon her life.

When Novella was diagnosed with breast cancer in November 1993, she became determined to arm herself with all available knowledge and, with God’s help, to fight back with all her strength. As Novella progressed in her personal campaign against breast cancer other women were being inspired and encouraged by her. Novella became committed to empowering other women through education and spiritual and emotional support.

Women of Faith and Hope was founded by Novella in 1996, and she serves as its President. The self help group provides professional expertise, referrals for free mammograms, annual health fair support groups, home visits, hospital visits, telephone calls and spiritual counseling. Women of Faith and Hope has been instrumental in educating women to enable them to make better choices. Along with the support groups which meet monthly, Women of Faith and Hope sponsors an annual retreat for breast cancer survivors and their families to renew and reflect. A Celebration of Life…Sisters Surviving Breast Cancer began in October 1996. The annual conference, in cooperation with the American Cancer Society, provides medical and nutritional information.

Since 1995 Novella has collaborated with the American Cancer Society and other breast health organizations to provide educational seminars to thousands of participants and to provide referrals for free mammogram screenings.

Novella has been honored for her untiring efforts by the American Cancer Society, the Breast Health Institute, Living Beyond Breast Cancer, Albert Einstein Medical Center, the NAACP, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority and many others.

Novella’s outreach efforts have grown beyond the boundaries of her neighborhood and now reach women throughout the United States. Her conviction and courage come from her strong religious beliefs. Novella has chosen not just to survive, but to embrace life to the fullest.